Monday, March 04, 2013

Social Change Anytime Everywhere – Think Multichannel Strategy

Social Change Anytime Everywhere is a new book by Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward.  It is an excellent primer in integrating multiple channels into your communications strategy.  There are lots of excellent examples and case studies and the writing style makes this book an easy ready that you’ll  want  to be a ready reference.  There are books about fundraising and fewer books that address advocacy.  Social Change Anywhere has chapters on fundraising, advocacy and community building.  It has two important distinguishing characteristics:
There are lots of excellent examples from both large and small organizations across a wide variety of types of nonprofits.
Integrating a multichannel strategy – not just using social media – is important and something frequently overlooked.  When nonprofits publish an email newsletter or manage a facebook page as a standalone they are making a big mistake.  This book demonstrates how to effectively use a multichannel strategy painlessly.

The outlined approaches in each chapter are direct and easy to understand and follow.  You will learn all the best practices of the big guns and examples of how they worked so well for small organizations.  The discussion questions at the end of the chapters will help you to facilitate discussion on these subjects in your organizations and not just try to “sell” the ideas.  You often see articles about how to sell your ideas but facilitating discussion can be more effective – especially when you want people to participate – not just let you do what you want to do.

I was lucky enough to hear Amy Sample Ward talk about Social Change Anytime Everywhere just one day after I received the book in the mail from Amazon.  I had flipped through but not read it.  Amy is such an excellent speaker that she made the statistical data and concepts in the book come to life.  Here’s some classic Amy – “Everyone is multichannel all day everyday.  Help your supporters be a hero.  People read their email standing in line for coffee and waiting to get on an airplane.  Give them the opportunity to do something useful.”  Priceless – rather than conceptually thinking of your supporters doing something for you – give them the opportunity to do some good!  Amy’s style is playful rather than serious but she knows how to get a serious message across without the pain.
If you are in the New York area I strongly urge – not just suggest – that you attend some 501 TechNYC events.  They are free to attend and held after work in New York.  You’ll mingle with a wonderful nonprofit tech crowd – networking and making new friends.  I finished my evening with a glass of wine and having Amy sign my copy of her new book.  A few blocks to the PATH and I was home in New Jersey before I knew it.  Well worth the trip to the city.